An understanding of the mechanisms by which individual cells perceive gravity and how these cells transduce and respond to gravitational stimuli is critical for the development of long-term manned space flight experiments. We now propose to use a well-characterized model erythroid cell system and to investigate gravitational perturbations of its erythropoietin (Epo) signaling pathway and gene regulation. Cells will be grown at 1-G and in simulated microgravity in the NASA Rotating Wall Vessel bioreactor (RWV). Cell growth and differentiation, the Epo-receptor, the protein kinase C pathway to the c-myc gene, and the protein phosphatase pathway to the c-myb gene will be studied and evaluated as reporters of gravitational stimuli. The results of these experiments will have impact on the problems of 1) gravitational sensing by individual cells, and 2) the anemia of space flight. This ground-based study also will serve as a Space Station Development Study in gravitational effects on intracellular signal transduction.